Austin Twenties

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Sir,

I was very interested by your article on Austin Twenties in the December issue, and the passing references to the Sixteen. My own Sixteen was a 104 model, not unlike the Ranelagh 20 shown at the rear. It was our family car when I was a boy, and after I had had it for some years I sold it to a couple in East Sheen. I have not heard of it recently, but it was in magnificent general condition. WD 8068, where are you?

I passed my test on it, and among my many happy recollections of its virtues, apart front the lovely smell of wood and leather and hot iron and oil, I mention two. The lighting from the standard headlamps surpassed that of many more modern cars, the right-hand lamp having a powerful pencil centre when fitted with a carefully focussed single-filament bulb. (The Ministry regulations ruined this as they insisted on double filament, and would not allow the switch to extinguish the main and put on the passing light fitted beneath it: the other headlamp had of course a swivelling reflector.) The great virtue was the steering. Heavy and entirely without play, but so precise I could once confidently shave past anything— although I did once knock off a hub-cap disc on a bridge in Wales which only just permitted of any passage, let alone one at 25 m.p.h. in second gear!

If the car is now in new hands, and if this magazine is also in those hands, I should he glad to know how she’s going, and perhaps to fill in her history for someone.

Birmingham

J. W. MASDING

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